Anti-Palm Oil Campaign: Dirty Practice of Western Vegetable Oil Business

For those who often browse the internet, there may be news, statements, and pictures that discredit palm oil; conducted by a network of anti-palm oil NGOs, both the international and domestic ones. To create a bad reputation of palm oil in global markets, anti-palm oil NGOs often accuse palm oil plantations of environmental damage.

The anti-palm oil campaign is nothing new. Since the beginning of the 80s this campaign has been done. In 1981, the producer of soybean oil (the American Soybean Association), a major competitor of palm oil, launched an anti-palm oil campaign with allegations that tropical vegetable oils (coconut oil, palm oil) may contain cholesterol. But the allegations can then be countered because scientifically palm oil does not produce cholesterol. Cholesterol is produced only in animals and humans. Failing with allegations of cholesterol, in the 1990s palm oil again was blamed for the cause of heart and vascular disease. This allegation was rebutted after nutritionists and health experts including experts from western countries to prove that the allegations are not true. Even it is quite the opposite because vitamin A and vitamin E in palm oil has the potential to prevent heart and vascular disease.

It does not stop there, in the 2000s until now, the anti-palm oil campaign brought new allegations of oil palm plantations damaging the environment and causing global warming. This accusation is also a joke because western countries hide their past mistakes and rot of the present. In the process of its establishment, they cleared out all their forests (deforestation) including the animals in them. As the result, sub-tropical animals that were known through history books at this time no longer exist (extinct).

The allegations of causing global warming also hide the rot of western countries’ present. As announced by the World Agencies (IEA, FAO, IPPC, etc) in their annual report, it clearly presents the data explaining that the main cause of global warming is the result of greenhouse gas emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, etc.) whose the largest consumption comes from the western countries. Instead, all plants including oil palm are environmental savers (absorbing greenhouse gases of carbon dioxide). Moreover, biodiesel from palm oil is used to replace the regular fossil fuel, it will contribute to the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Indonesia is still much better than western countries. Although still in a progress, Indonesian morality is still much better than the western countries that are now known as developed countries. Currently we still have the largest primary forest in Asia-Africa. We also have reserved forests and conserved forests of 40.4 million hectares that we continue to preserve for our wildlife, including orangutans, insects, tigers, etc and millions of flora species grow. The land used for plantations or agriculture, industry, housing, that was provided by the government is out of the reserved forests and conservation forests. Thus, the accusations against palm oil is only used as a shield to cover their own rot and also to protect their vegetable oils (soybean oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed and others) that are less competitive than palm oil. For more than 100 years, soybean oil had been the top vegetable oil in the global market but suddenly the demand was shifted and defeated by palm oil, especially the one from Indonesia. They couldn’t accept this defeat to palm oil, the soybean oil and rapeseed producers use an unlawful act, which was launching a black campaign against palm oil and using the hands of NGOs, both the international and local ones in Indonesia. Ironically, anti-palm oil NGOs in Indonesia, whose members are also citizens of Indonesia, joined the black campaign of western vegetable oil producers.

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